Mom Monday Week 46 – Thanksgiving Holiday

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That’s it, folks! No more school for the next seven days. I am declaring a Thanksgiving Holiday this week. I need to catch up on housework, writing deadlines and editing my new book, 101 Tips for Kindergarten at Home. I can’t believe it has taken me so long to get it out, but it’s a great lesson. Our plans get interrupted by life. And we all know that life is what happens while you are busy making other plans…

mom monday wk46

I spoke with another homeschooling mom who shared the same dilemma: how do you get it all done? If you focus on housework, school work will lag behind. If you keep all the school assignments up to date, your house starts looking like a tornado just went through and the laundry piles turn into small hills.

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Which reminds me of a humorous incident online a few years ago, when I was contemplating homeschooling. I joined a few Yahoo support groups for different types of homeschoolers and asked the question, “Is it really efficient? Can you really get school work done in the morning? If so, why do I hear that a lot of homeschooling moms give up because of dust bunnies?”

I got some clever answers which were avoiding the real issue, i.e. that homeschoolers are super-busy and school is rarely finished in the morning. I suppose nobody had the courage to say, “Hang on to your hat! You will be super-busy!”

The wittiest answer I received was, “You will not get done in the morning because you and your kids will have so much fun, you will not want to stop.” I appreciate framing the issue that way. How much fun am I having vs. Let’s get school out of the way so we can have fun. I really do. I learned a lot from that exchange.

And, may I just say, from talking to friends who put their children in public or private school, they are busy too. So busy, they have to tell their children to choose only one extra-curricular activity. If you are contemplating homeschooling or getting discouraged by it, remember that the grass is NOT greener on the other side. Life is crazy busy no matter how you school your children.

If you are looking for French Thanksgiving vocabulary, – and who isn’t? – I wrote about it here. If you want a Thanksgiving unit study lesson plan for elementary kids, click here.

With that, let me say Happy Thanksgiving to you! I hope you have lots of fun with family and friends, eat yummy food and count your blessings, for they are many.


Thanksgiving Unit Study, PreK-K

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Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you will leave me a comment below about the things you are most thankful for. Among other things, I am thankful for the United States of America – this greatest experiment in the history of human civilization. Without this country, we would not know what life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness mean. In our homeschool, we took three days to study about Thanksgiving.

First, we did some crafts, coloring pages, math unit studies and other activities from this list:

Children doing Thanksgiving crafts at the table

My children doing crafts at the table

Girl cuts a turkey craft for Thanksgiving

My daughter enjoyed the crafts, which gives me energy to bring craft time back more often

Boy cuts a Thanksgiving turkey craft

My son cut lots of feathers, and even helped his sister a bit

Little girl with Thanksgiving turkey crafts

Brother did not have the patience to sit through a photo shoot with the paper roll turkeys, but he made one of these

  • Cute Turkey Buttoning and Matching Color Activity (Preschool) – This will have to wait until next week when I can get supplies. I was going to buy them the day before Thanksgiving, but we got snowed in.
Girl playing with snow

My daughter taking advantage of a snow day

Enjoying our first snow day of the year

My son enjoying our first snow day

  • Even Cuter Turkey Buttoning and Color Matching Activity (Preschool)
  • Cardboard Turkey – This website inspired me to make my own turkey craft. Homeschooling moms are allowed to make their own crafts, aren’t they?
Turkey Craft I made just because I felt inspired. But then, I realized it inspired the kids to see their mom cut and paint.

Turkey Craft I made just because I felt inspired. But then, I realized it inspired the kids to see their mom cut and paint.

Boy making Thanksgiving Craft

This particular Thanksgiving craft personalized the holiday when we wrote what they were thankful for on every feather of the turkey

Small girl cutting paper with pink scissors

More than anything, my daughter loved cutting paper in small bits

Little girl with Thanksgiving turkey craft

She is thankful for Jesus, good food, birthday cakes, her brother, snow and the Titanic

Boy with Thanksgiving turkey craft

Thankful for snow, sun, sister, parents, God’s power, and evergreens

We learned/sang some Thanksgiving songs:

Then, we read these books:

            • Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving
            • Turkey Trouble
            • One Tough Turkey
            • Happy Thanksgiving, Biscuit (still to get)

Finally, the children watched some videos:

  • A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving – 25 minutes. It’s such a classic piece of Americana. They liked the silly parts and how Snoopy set the table. Later that day, when daddy came home, they set a Thanksgiving table with their toy kitchen set, complete with a tablecloth (daddy’s coat) and referenced how Snoopy tied the corners of the tablecloth. One of the characters uses bad language once and I had to explain to the kids we don’t talk that way. Also, that they will meet people who talk that way and we should love them as Jesus does and pray for them and respect them.
  • Plimoth Plantation and Scholastic Virtual Field Trip – 5 minutes of skipping around the video, to see different characters present their lives. It’s a longer documentary, for upper elementary grades, too boring for my kids. The Google Earth presentation of the Mayflower itinerary fascinated them and reminded them of the Titanic’s attempt at crossing the Atlantic. I would have never put the two together. It seems our Titanic visit and its wall map showing the intended itinerary over the ocean is still fresh in their minds.
  • Mayflower movie trailer – 1 minute.
Little girl sweeps the floor

She made most of the mess and was willing to clean it up.

Teaching a Thanksgiving unit study inspires me because I know from experience what it is like to move countries. While growing up in Communist Romania, I used to listen to The Voice of America – a forbidden activity. Their broadcast about Thanksgiving has stayed with me ever since. Who would have thought I would end up in the USA, homeschooling my American children and teaching them about Thanksgiving?